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Turn your goals into daily habits

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

I was reminded of the above quote this week while reading Kathie Pugaczewski’s blog post “Keep Pulling.”

Aristotle was right. We are our habits. Day in and day out. Creating better habits takes consistency and discipline for a certain number of days until the pattern becomes ingrained into our very being.

When I first started back at the gym after a prolonged ankle injury, I met with a trainer every six weeks to tweak my plan. Part of my plan was writing down what I did every time I worked out. Logging my time in my cardio zone, logging my weight workouts and any other workouts I did…swimming, yoga, etc.

Logging my activities helps me stay focused and disciplined.

For my writing, I created a log that allows me to write down my daily goals, what I achieved, and my word count. Below is a sample of my writing log from when I participated in Nanowrimo this November:

Writing Log, November 2012:  NaNoWriMo 

Fast Writing Goal: 1,666 words per day

Date Goal Completed  Word Ct Running Total
11/3 3 timed writes, 3500 words to make up for being gone next week. I can do it! Reality interrupted. Busy work day, totally forgot I had a poetry reading so had to prepare for that. Ugh. Make up tomorrow! 0 3546
11/2 3 timed writes. type up 2000 words from notes wrote 1874 words but no timed writes 1874 3546
11/1 1666 words, finish morphing chapter and start Gracie chapter  Done 1672  1672

I keep my exercise log taped to my kitchen cupboard so I can see it everyday. I add stars to the days I work out to keep it colorful and keep me motivated. I keep my writing log in my computer file. Every day that I fill in what I accomplished gives me another day of creating a new, positive habit.

We are our habits. What new habits do you want to establish this year? Go wild!

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